Kidspiration and Inspiration are two computer programs. Kidspiration is for use primarily with grades K-2 or 3. Inspiration is best used with third grade and higher grades. Both programs help students see, organize, and develop ideas. Both programs are great for webbing, concept mapping, brainstorming, planning, organizing, and diagramming. Students can see how ideas are related and how they can be grouped.
Here are a couple of examples of what a Kidspiration project might look like:
Here are some lesson ideas for integrating with Kidspiration and Inspiration. Some of these examples were found on other web sites. If one of them is your idea and you have not been given credit, please let us know and we will give you full credit for it. Keep in mind that these are only a sampling of ideas of how to use Kidspiration and Inspiration. There are no limits with these programs and what you and your students can do, so get creative and enjoy learning!
Make KWL charts for any subject area.
Let students create webs to review subject material taught. - Todd Slater
Use either program to illustrate your fire drill, or have students use it to illustrate it so that everyone knows what his/her job is as soon as the fire alarm is heard.
either program to make seating charts. Here's how to do this:
Go to View. Select Rulers.
Go to Utility. Select Grid Snap.
Click on Main Menu (there will be boxes around the perimeter.) Select a rectangular box from the Symbol Palate. The oval should become a box.
Click inside Main Menu box to change text.
Type “Teacher’s Desk” or “Front of Room” into Main Menu Box.
Drag the rectangles from Symbol Palate and line them up on the grid to match the configuration of your classroom.
Type in the names of your students for your first period class. You can create a different seating chart for each period.
You can also change the colors of the desks by right clicking on them and choosing "fill color", then choosing another color.
Some lesson plans I created were: State Reports, Character Synoposis, What's In Our Lunches, Bugs/Reptiles/Amphibians, What I like About You, Heroes, Math Facts, Synonyms and Antonyms, and Jeopardy. - Jennifer Wagner
I have used it to teach the writing process. Main topic. Related topics. Details of related topics, etc. Then switch to outline view and demonstrate how to turn topic ideas in to sentences. Then add transition sentences and topic sentences to each paragraph, change the order of topics, paragraphs, etc. - Don Wilder, Computer Technology Educator, Lincoln Akerman School
I use it with in conjunction with Breakthrough To Literacy program. We read a book such as Bugs, and then brainstorm different topics each day of the week. For example, you might talk about habitats one day, different types of bugs (flying, crawling) the next etc. The students use the pictures in Inspiration to assist them in brainstorming ideas on the different topics you are covering. - Chris Westerfield, Technology Resource Teacher, Ohio County School District
Compare and contrast characters in stories, genres, settings, etc. Illustrate the writing process.
Create vocabulary webs and spelling diagrams.
Create a web of the parts of speech and give examples of each.
the programs to illustrate math facts and make equations or number sentences.
A project done by a fifth grade student involves describing a salt marsh ecosystem. The student used Inspiration to map out his ideas. This made writing the paragraph much easier. His work is shown here, with his permission. Great job, Scott!
Use the programs to diagram various body systems, such as the heart and circulatory system - Brad Helland, Crescent Park Elementary
Use either program to have students illustrate life cycles (butterflies, frogs, etc.)
Illustrate the water cycle.
Create a web of the planets. Include information about each one.
I use Inspiration to help pupils create computer programs. It is excellent for showing program flow as well as documenting each step of the process. - John Orban
I put a large EGG in the middle of the screen with the words "I hatch from eggs." The students had to search for various animals that hatch from eggs, drag them to the screen, and link them to the center Egg picture. They had to find 8 different animals -- only 2 could be the kinds of birds that fly around their home (so as to force them to search for other animals!). We did a similar thing during our Farm Unit --- a large barn was in the middle and they searched for animals commonly found on farms. - Ardisk
As an introductory activity, have kids do their family trees with Inspiration. They love doing it and it requires some personal research. You can also use Inspiration and Kidspiration to diagram ecosystems like the rain forest, diagram state governments (with your officials), and outline book reports. - Sue Harper, St. Paul School
Use either program to compare and contrast states.
Have students diagram and illustrate community helpers.
Create a web of Native American tribes. Compare and contrast each of them.
Compare and contrast life now with life in the 1800s (or any other time period being studied).
Use the programs to map kinds of government, or branches of government at the Federal or State level. - Brad Helland, Crescent Park Elementary
you open Inspiration, if you click on "File" and then go to "Template"
there are a lot of wonderful templates to use:
Substitute Lesson Plan
Thanks to Sarah Cohen for this tip!
Be sure to check out the outline feature of either program. Students can easily do a map or web, then view it as an outline, and then turn the outline into complete sentences to create a report on any topic.
use Inspiration as a way to plan and organize slides in PowerPoint before
they create the presentation. PowerPoint certainly allows you to organize,
but after the student creates the slides. I want them to have a good idea
about how many slides and what their content and purpose will be before
they make slides. Then often they cut and paste the Inspiration icons and
make them into a splash page introductory slide, with each icon a hyperlink
to the slide it relates to. This process affords the viewer more control
and it has the
feel of a web page. The students are in 4th, 5th and 6th grades. - Joy Hogg
You also can export an Inspiration outline directly into PowerPoint where each topic is a slide and each subtopic is a bullet. I use this feature all the time. - Pam Barber
Inspiration Workshop Resources - From the Inspiration web site - Includes a PDF booklet to download to use in training sessions, as well as ideas for each subject area.
Kidspiration Workshop Resources - From the Inspiration/Kidspiration web site - Includes a PDF booklet to download, and ideas for projects to do.
Vicki's Kidspiration Site - Tutorial and Tech Tips
Visual Learning With Inspiration and Kidspiration
Together Kidspiration Templates
Port Washington School District's Inspiration Website
Kidspiration Making It Work
Educational Software Tutorials - Check out the Graphic Organizers section for tutorials on Inspiration and Kidspiration and lots of other links to pages with ideas for using the programs. (Thanks to Mark Exworthy for this site!)
Inspiration Tutorial - Great tutorial with screen shots to help guide you along as you use the programs.
Strategic Transitions - Offers eight free templates for you to use: Character, comparison, a time in the past, elephant concept map, which critter is which, ducklings journey to the pond.
from Daniel Kurz:
http://www.internet4classrooms.com/inspiration_template.htm - Tutorial for using Inspiration
http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/DSSSE/its/howtos/inspir/inspiration.htm - A few templates to use with Inspiration
http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/jhobson/reading/othergos/ - Inspiration templates, including KWL charts and spider webs
http://www.crsd.ab.ca/lgms/inspiration.html - Inspiration examples and tutorial from a morning workshop session
Be sure to check out Teacher Created materials web site. They have a great resource kit.
page created by Lori Miller, Technology Instructor
at Wacona Elementary School, June 2002.
Updated August 28, 2003.